Natural Preservatives for Cosmetic Products and Their Benefits (Updated 2023)

Natural Preservatives for Cosmetics

Cosmetic and beauty product manufacturers use biodegradable ingredients that are subject to damage from microbes. Therefore, to counter this problem, producers opt for natural preservatives for cosmetics. Natural preservatives are antimicrobial ingredients, free from artificial processing, and found in nature. They combat the destruction caused by microbes.

What are the common natural preservatives for cosmetics products, and are they safe for your skin? Today, we’ll answer these questions. We’ll go over the natural preservatives the manufacturers use, their safe level of usage for skin, benefits, and much more.

Natural Preservatives for Cosmetics

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Environmental Effects of Cosmetic Products

Like any other industry, the cosmetic business has impacts on the environment. Although not widely recognized as a sector that impacts the environment the most, the damage the beauty product industry can cause to the environment include:

  1. Chemical Disposal

    In every neighborhood, numerous people use beauty products. Usually, they all end up in the ocean through wastewater. As a result, the chemicals inside these affect plants and animal life. Examples of some chemicals that pose a serious threat to the environment comprise microplastic beads and ultraviolet filters.

  2. Plastic Pollution

    Cosmetic products come in different packaging, ranging from jars to bottles, mostly made from non-biodegradable plastic. – According to a recent study, 70 percent of the cosmetic product plastic in the U.S. ends up in the dump. However, sometimes these plastics drift to the ocean where they endanger marine life by degrading into microplastics.

  3. Carcinogenic Ingredients

    Many cosmetic products use chemicals that have carcinogenic properties. Some chemicals are very serious for the environment and the people, causing diseases such as cancer.

    An example of such a chemical is formaldehyde, commonly found in shampoo and nail polishes.

    The U.S. Food and Drugs Administration restricted 11 chemical components used in cosmetic production and proactively searches for other toxic chemicals. On the contrary, the European Union has banned over 1,300 chemicals used in cosmetic products.

The Need for Natural Preservatives for Cosmetics

Natural preservatives for cosmetics offer a solution to the threats posed by the cosmetic industry. They ensure safe usage for the consumers, as well as contribute to a healthier environment. Additionally, producers are meeting the criteria for green or sustainable beauty products that show their care for the customers, on top of the environment.

By including natural preservatives in their products, the manufacturers make sure they meet the following criteria and label their products as green and sustainable:


By neutralizing the toxic chemical, or the damage caused by microbes in the cosmetic products, natural preservatives play a crucial role in keeping the product non-toxic. It, in turn, has a positive impact on the customer and the environment.

  1. Ethical

    Another vital aspect of being sustainable and green is ethics. To have the products considered green, the producers must extend their social responsibility beyond the environment. They ought to cover the local population and animals, such as not experimenting with their products on animals.

  2. Vegan

    Green cosmetic products use plants in their products instead of animal organs and hence are vegan. It is a crucial aspect for producers to cover because killing animals or subjecting them to experiments can hurt the environment. Examples include laboratory tests often using rats. You can read more about experiments on rats in our article Rats: Test Results That Don’t Apply to Humans.

  3. Organic

    Being organic is the last step to be green. The concept is to utilize as few chemicals in production as possible and opt for natural ingredients. Even if the manufacturing requires chemicals, it should be natural and used to a minimum amount.

4 Common Natural Preservatives for Cosmetics

Now we know about the threats of the cosmetic sector and the things producers try to achieve with their production. So, it’s time to dive into the best natural preservatives for cosmetics they are using. The four common natural preservatives applied in cosmetic creation are:

  1. Sorbic Acid

    Sorbic acid is the first natural preservative for cosmetics on our list. It is a combatant of bacteria and mold; therefore, it finds its use in both food and cosmetic products. Sorbic acid is also a kosher ingredient, and its history goes way back when extracted from berries of an unripe rowan tree. Now, it is one of the widely used natural preservatives for skincare products.

  2. Aloe Vera

    Aloe Vera transformed into gel acts as a natural preservative for cosmetic products. The gel primarily acts as a combatant of decay, offering a protective coating for beauty products. It defends the product from exposure to oxygen and moisture, both of which can quicken the decaying process.

  3. Potassium Sorbate

    A product of salt and sorbic acid, potassium sorbate is another natural preservative for cosmetics. It acts as a defender against mold growth in lotions, mascaras, and shampoos. It finds its way in a variety of other skincare products.

  4. Phenoxyethanol

    The last in our natural preservatives for cosmetics list is phenoxyethanol. It prevents the growth of bacteria and hence helps preserve the properties of cosmetic products.

3 Benefits of Natural Preservatives

Natural preservatives for cosmetics offer a better customer experience and have less impact on the environment. Let’s see in detail why you’d be better off purchasing cosmetic products with natural preservatives.

  1. Overall Better Experience

    Natural preservatives for cosmetics provide an overall better experience by keeping your skin naturally beautiful in both the short and long term. People who have sensitive skin also benefit from these safe preservatives for cosmetics, as they defend against skin irritation.

  2. Less Skin Allergy

    Natural preservatives for cosmetics make them more suitable for people prone to skin allergies. Along with dyes and fragrances, preservatives are the main cause of these allergies. Therefore, non-natural preservatives can cause allergies ranging from minor rashes to anaphylactic shocks.

    You’d be better off with products having natural preservatives, as they rid them of harmful chemicals such as formaldehyde. Therefore, beauty products with natural preservatives offer enhanced protection against skin allergies.

  3. Friendly Components

    By including natural preservatives, producers get rid of unsafe substances in their products. These make them friendlier for consumption. Most cosmetic products use formaldehyde, sulfates, and parabens as preservatives, which are not natural. They have carcinogenic properties harmful to consumers.

    Natural preservatives for cosmetics keep the ingredients in a safe condition by preserving them against any damage. Therefore, they act as a means to get rid of the harmful substances in cosmetics. Furthermore, they make the components and ingredients friendly.

Final Words

Cosmetics and beauty products are some of the most purchased items in a superstore these days. Although they are beneficial for the skin, they are not entirely damage-free. For this reason, natural preservatives for cosmetics are the go-to addition in the production of skincare products. These natural preservatives protect against harm resulting from antimicrobial in cosmetic products. These also offer an overall better experience and fewer skin allergies. However, if you experience any sign of damage to your skin or experience an allergy, we strongly advise consulting a dermatologist immediately.

Personal Care Truth
Personal Care Truth is your trusted source for evidence-based information on personal care and wellness. A dedicate health advocate who is passionate about empowering individuals to make informed choices when it comes to their personal care.



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